ST. SEBASTIAN-PENGUIN DAY
Psalm 90, Verse 11
Who comprehends the
strength of your anger? Your wrath matches the FEAR it inspires.
This is the
prayer of Moses: The Man of God who furthers states, “Teach us to count our days
aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.” Men often throw away their time and
forget their life with or without God will be an eternity. Remember “Leaders
don’t kill time, they execute it,” says John Maxwell. Saint Benedict recognize
the importance of being a workman for the Lord in his phrase, “Ora et Labora’,
which translates to the prayer of the hours and work. Moses finishes this psalm
in verse 17 with: “May the favor of the Lord our God be ours. Prosper
the work of our hands! Prosper the work of our hands”! Notice the double
emphasis on work of our hands. This week focus on good works and
We know that our work is important but is our leisure
just as important?
ponders this question with the recent dust up caused by football players refusing
to stand for the National Anthem. I question is this a violation of church and
state under the constitution? Afterall isn’t Football our national religion?
The Rise of Sports and the Decline of the Church
Super Bowl XLVIII may have
been a bust as a football game, but it was a blockbuster as a cultural event.
The telecast of the event attracted a record 111.5 million viewers, making it
the most-watched television event of all-time. That record will most likely be
eclipsed by the next Super Bowl, and the trajectory shows no signs of
dissipating. America takes its sports seriously, and Americans take football
with the most seriousness of them all. In a real sense, big-time sports
represent America’s new civic religion,
and football is its central sacrament. The relationship between sports and
religion in America has always been close, and it has often been awkward. The
“muscular Christianity” of a century ago has given way to a more recent
phenomenon: the massive growth of involvement in sports at the expense of
church activities and involvements. About fifteen years ago, the late John
Cardinal O’Connor, then the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, lamented the
fact that Little League Baseball was taking his altar boys away on Sundays.
“Why is it religion that must always
accommodate?” asked the Archbishop. “Why must
Little League and soccer league games be scheduled on Sunday mornings? Why
create that conflict for kids or for their parents? Sports are generally
considered good for kids. Church is good for kids.” The Archbishop blamed
secularization for this invasion of Sunday: “This is the constant erosion, the
constant secularization of our culture, that I strongly believe to be a serious
mistake.” So the cardinal took on Little League and the youth soccer league in
New York City. And he lost. Nevertheless, he was right about the problem. The
massive rise of sports within the culture is a sign and symptom of the
secularization of the larger society. New evidence for this pattern comes from
academics Chris Beneke and Arthur Remillard in an essay recently published in The Washington Post.
Writing with Super Bowl XLVIII in view, Beneke and Remillard note:
“American sports fans have forged imperishable bonds with the people, places
and moments that define their teams. You might even call this attachment
religious. But that would be unfair—to sports.” In other words, the attachment many Americans now have to sports teams
far exceeds attachment to religious faith—any religious faith.
The two academics then
make their central case:
“While teams and fans are
building powerful, cohesive communities—think Red Sox Nation or the legions of
University of Alabama faithful who greet one another with ‘Roll Tide’—churches
are losing followers. According to a 2012 survey by researchers at
the University of California at Berkeley and Duke University, 20 percent
of Americans ‘claimed they had no religious preference,’ compared with an
unaffiliated population of 8 percent in 1990. Roughly two out of three
Americans, a 2012 Pew report noted, are under the impression that
religion is losing influence in the country.” That impression is growing
because it is true to the facts. Religion is losing ground and losing influence
in American society. The fastest-growing segment of the American public in
terms of religious identification is the “nones,” designating those who
identify with no religious tradition at all. At the same time, a religious
dedication to sports has been growing. While correlation does not prove
causation, the links between these two developments are haunting.
Interestingly, Beneke, who teaches history at Bentley University, and
Remillard, who teaches religious studies at St. Francis University, document
the dramatic increase in the percentage of Americans who consider themselves to
be sports fans. Just a half-century ago, only three in ten Americans identified
themselves as sports fans. Fast forward to 2012 and the percentage is greater
than 60 percent. At the same time, church attendance and other marks of
religious activity (especially the number of hours each week devoted to church
activities) have fallen sharply. Beneke and Remillard describe the current
picture in vivid terms: “Modern sports stadiums function much like great
cathedrals once did, bringing communities together and focusing their
collective energy. This summer, the Archdiocese of New York is expected to
outline plans to close or merge some of its 368 parishes; 26 Catholic schools
in the archdiocese have ceased operation. By contrast, the city and the state
of New Jersey spent hundreds of millions to build new baseball and football
stadiums.” Cardinal O’Connor would no doubt see the pattern and lament it, but
a good many evangelical Christians seem both unmoved and unconcerned. The
problem is quite ecumenical in this respect. The youth minister or pastor at
your local evangelical church is almost sure to tell you the same story. Team
sports activities or other forms of organized athletics have taken many
evangelical families away from church activities. Many children and adolescents
know very little of church involvements, but they and their parents (and often
their grandparents as well) would not miss a scheduled practice, much less a
game or competitive event. The same is increasingly true of spectator sports.
Beneke and Remillard conclude by asserting that “when it comes to the
passionate attachments that sustain interest and devotion, it’s time to
acknowledge that sports have gained the edge. And they show no sign of
relinquishing the lead.” In the larger society, this is most certainly the
case. This dramatic shift could only come to pass if the larger culture has
been largely secularized. In this case, secularization does not necessarily
mean the disappearance of religious faith, but merely the demotion of religious
involvement and identification to a level lower than those granted to sports. Americans may not know who their god is, but
you can be sure most know who their team is.
Whose team is yours? 
Let us never forget that Satan
does his utmost to destroy mankind. In a thousand ways he plots and wars
against God and tries to usurp His throne. On this subject, the following
instruction given by Our Blessed Mother to Venerable Mary d' Agreda, is worth
quoting: "My daughter," she says, "by no power of human words
wilt thou in this mortal life ever succeed in describing the evil of Lucifer
and his demons against men, or the malice, astuteness, deceits and ruses, with
which, in his wrath, he seeks to bring them into sin and later on to eternal
torments. He tries to hinder all good works . . . All the malice of which his
own mind is capable, he attempts to inject into souls. Against these attacks,
God provides admirable protection if men will only co-operate and correspond on
their part." Among the means provided by God for our protection, is the
ready recourse we may have at all times to the strengthening Blood of Christ.
"This Blood," declares St. John Chrysostom, "has the power to
drive away the evil spirits and to draw to our side the good angels, aye, the
King of Angels, and to blazen the way to Heaven." Fortified by the
Precious Blood, let us place ourselves under the leadership of St. Michael and
unfurl everywhere the banner of our Faith, without fear of godlessness. If Satan tries to induce us to sin, and
promises honors, riches, happiness on conditions that we omit a good work, or
commit an evil deed, let us ever oppose the tempter with the energetic words:
Who is like unto God? God is my only treasure, my highest Good, His Blood is
upon me, and "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
shall fear no evil." If in time
of temptation, we have the courage to rebuke the evil one and call upon the
assistance of our leader, St. Michael, the enemy will surely be put to flight.
But if we wish to enjoy the great Archangel's protection, we must also imitate
his virtues, particularly his humility and his zeal for God's glory.
"O great St. Michael,
take us 'neath thy shield, Thy mighty power in our favor wield!"
The name of Sebastian is enveloped in a wreath of
legends. By birth he was Milanese. Perhaps the persecutor of Christians had
left Milan, or had not yet arrived, or had become momentarily more tolerant.
Sebastian believed that here there was no opportunity for combat, or that it
had already passed. So, he went to Rome, the scene of bitter opposition arising
from the Christians' zeal for the faith. There he suffered; there he gained the
crown." St. Sebastian was widely venerated during the Middle Ages,
particularly as a protector against the plague. Paul the Deacon relates that in
670 a great pestilence at Rome ceased when an altar was dedicated in his honor.
The Breviary account of the saint is highly legendary; in part it reads:
"Diocletian tried by every means to turn Sebastian from the faith of
Christ. After all efforts had proven fruitless, he ordered him tied to a post
and pierced with arrows. When everyone thought him dead, a devout woman named
Irene arranged for his burial during the night; finding him still alive, she
cared for him in her own house. After his recovery he appeared again before
Diocletian and boldly rebuked him for his wickedness. Enraged by the saint's
sharp words, the emperor ordered him scourged until he expired. (Remember that in our Lords scourging; He
paid particularly for the sins of the flesh) His body was thrown into a
a longer account of St.
Sebastian's Day is marked in Sicily and in Kerala, India with huge
celebrations. Try a Sicilian or Kerala dish for dinner tonight in honor of the
you have an athlete in your family teach them the prayer to St. Sebastian.
Litany of St. Sebastian
have mercy on us! Christ, have
mercy on us!
have mercy on us!
hear us! Christ, graciously
the Father of heaven, Have
mercy on us!
the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have
mercy on us!
the holy Ghost, Have
mercy on us!
Trinity, one God, Have
mercy on us!
Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Pray
noble by birth and fame, Pray
warrior and martyr of Christ, Pray
and mirror of Christian soldiers, Pray
of the world, Pray
of Satan, Pray
of the dying, Pray
of the afflicted, Pray
of the word of God, Pray
and Patron of countries and cities, Pray
Sebastian, perfect in virtue and wisdom, Pray
Sebastian, lover of God and men, Pray
Sebastian, might in word and work, Pray
Sebastian, who didst strengthen the Christians in torments and death, Pray
Sebastian, who didst fortify those wavering in their faith,
Pray for us.
Sebastian, who didst encourage the doubting to persevere to the end, Pray
Sebastian, who, in flamed with love of God, didst despise the pains inflicted
by the tyrant, Pray
Sebastian, surrounded by celestial light, Pray
Sebastian, instructed by the holy Angels, Pray
Sebastian, giving speech to the dumb, Pray
Sebastian, who for defending the truth wast wounded by arrows, Pray
Sebastian, who wast put to death with clubs, Pray
Sebastian, who wast crowned with eternal glory, Pray for us.
Sebastian, great intercessor for us with God, Pray
Sebastian, endowed with power from God to avert pestilence and all contagious
of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord!
of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord!
of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us, O Lord!
Christ, hear us! Christ, graciously hear us!
us pray. Mercifully look on our weakness, O almighty God; since the weight of
our own evil deeds bears us down, may the glorious intercession of Thy blessed
martyr Sebastian be our protection Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who
with Thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end.
Penguin Awareness Day
was created to celebrate everybody’s favorite zoo animal! Find out more about
penguins, explore what others have to say about penguins, why not visit your
local zoo to share the penguin love! You don’t have to wait until Penguin
Awareness Day, because penguins can be loved all year long!
Recognizing that God, the Father
created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an
entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength, mind, soul
Ways to Re-Create
the title indicates, saltwater fishing takes place out at sea giving fishermen
the opportunity to catch large and exotic fishes such as the Marlin. The big
drawback to this activity is that you have to have access to a boat (either
own, know someone who does, or rent), and own special fishing gear that can
handle large catches.
With about 10,000 species of birds and only a handful of people who can claim
having seen over 7000 of them, bird watching is become a popular recreation
activity. It’s believed that bird watching is an expression of the male hunting
instinct while others links it with the male tendency for “systemizing”. Either
way, bird watching is a great, safe way to enjoy nature.
Also known as downhill skiing, Alpine skiing began as a club sport in 1861 at
Kiandra in Australia. Today, most alpine skiing occurs at ski resorts with ski
lifts that transport skiers up the mountain.
American born sport that is getting worldwide attention, snowboarding was
developed in the 1960’s and became part of the Olympics in 1998. Like any other
extreme sport, snowboarding does present risks of injury (especially for new
participants), in fact, you are twice as likely to get injured while
snowboarding than Alpine skiing.
Not to be confused with backpacking for traveling purposes, overnight
backpacking describes a multi-day hike that involves camping. Aside from the
health benefits, backpacking allows adventurers to enjoy remote places that are
usually un-accessible by any other means.
is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during winter months while maintaining an
active and healthy lifestyle. In fact, as of 2006, at least 500 American
schools have started offering snowshoe programs in their physical education
curriculum to help combat obesity.
appeals to people all over the world. In a 2002 report, it was found that there
were 18.5 million skateboarders in the world. 85 percent of those who had used
a board in the last year of the poll were under the age of 18.
increasingly popular sport, trail runners have increased from 4.5 million to
more than 6 million in the United States alone between 2006 and 2012.
you want to check out an underwater world without the mess of complicated
equipment and tanks, snorkeling is for you. Not only is it simpler than scuba
diving, but cheaper as well since you are not required to have a license and or
permit to dive.
Unlike hunting with a rifle, Bowhunting places the hunter in closer proximity
to its prey and is more physical (in that you burn more calories by using a bow
rather than firing a gun). This activity entices many new participants;
however, it is a controversial sport due to the fact that animals tend to die
slowly when struck by an arrow.
to be one of the most grueling endurance sports out there, cross country skiing
promises to test your fitness. If you are looking for a sport that burns the
most calories per hour, this is it.
waves? No problem. Wake boarding makes up for the lack of waves with a boat by
dragging you along. This activity is relatively safe, popular, and will
definitely keep you fit if done consistently.
perfect activity for enjoying the outdoors, fly fishing requires some technical
skill (mainly casting techniques) but these are relatively easy to learn.
one the most romantic outdoor activity on this list, sailing captivates the
imagination and offers participants a chance for a relaxing trip on the seas.
The only downfall to this activity is the price of a sailboat.
bicycling is an impressive sport to watch, which is probably why so many people
attempt to get into it. If you are thinking of doing the same, be warned, you
can’t fear getting hurt as falls,
scrapes, and fails are common.
challenging sport, surfing definitely requires some skill development.
Nevertheless, many people attempt this dynamic sport.
the opportunity to experience a rare and stunning encounter with a world
outside the norm, it’s not surprising why so many people try out scuba diving.
Just be careful as scuba diving can get a bit expensive and certification is
required for solo divers.
danger factor should be obvious with this one. Nevertheless, climbing appeals
to many first-time participants and many more find it to be a great outdoor
activity. If you’re thinking about giving this a try, I suggest starting out in
an indoor climbing facility.
White Water Rafting-With
six grades of intensity, white water rafting appeals to veterans and novices
alike. With that said, if you want to try rafting for the first time, be sure
to stick to the lower grades since white water rafting can be dangerous.
in the sea will allow you to enjoy an active lifestyle while gliding through
open waters. It’s a relatively easy sport to get into and for the most part
safe (unlike the next item on our list).
White Water Kayaking-A
surprisingly popular activity for first time practitioners, white water
kayaking is a pretty intense sport. If you’re not careful, you can end up
seriously hurt, or worse…dead. Nevertheless, 35% of first-time participants
indicate that this is their sport of choice.
just never know what you will get with adventure racing. As the name suggests,
the ‘adventure’ can consist of swimming, running, climbing, kayaking, etc.
There usually is no time limit and some races can even last days.
Consisting of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines (running,
bicycling, and swimming), a triathlon does not require a particularly high
level of skills per se. However, the training for such an event can be
engaging combination of sailing and surfing, windsurfing takes the #2 spot on
our list. If you’re itching to try this sport, know that it does take some
patience and perseverance to become proficient. You must develop your balance
and core stability; acquire a basic understanding of sailing theory; and learn
a few techniques.
Stand Up Paddling-Stand
up paddling (SUP) is the #1 activity for new time users. Similar to surfing in
that you stand on a board. In SUP, waves are not required, and you can enjoy a
tranquil stroll while enjoying a total body workout.
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE
CHAPTER TWO-THE HUMAN
Article 3-SOCIAL JUSTICE
I. Respect for the Human Person
1929 Social justice can be obtained
only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man. the person represents the
ultimate end of society, which is ordered to him:
What is at stake is the dignity of
the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the
Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly
and responsibly in debt.
1930 Respect for the human person
entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These
rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of
the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to
recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral
legitimacy. If it does not respect them, authority can rely only on force
or violence to obtain obedience from its subjects. It is the Church's role to
remind men of good will of these rights and to distinguish them from
unwarranted or false claims.
1931 Respect for the human person
proceeds by way of respect for the principle that "everyone should look
upon his neighbor (without any exception) as 'another self,' above all bearing
in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity." No
legislation could by itself do away with the fears, prejudices, and attitudes
of pride and selfishness which obstruct the establishment of truly fraternal
societies. Such behavior will cease only through the charity that finds in
every man a "neighbor," a brother.
1932 The duty of making oneself a
neighbor to others and actively serving them becomes even more urgent when it
involves the disadvantaged, in whatever area this may be. "As you did it
to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."
1933 This same duty extends to
those who think or act differently from us. the teaching of Christ goes so far
as to require the forgiveness of offenses. He extends the commandment of love,
which is that of the New Law, to all enemies. Liberation in the spirit of
the Gospel is incompatible with hatred of one's enemy as a person, but not with
hatred of the evil that he does as an enemy.
This shrimp in marsala
sauce can be served over pasta or rice. This is a delicious Friday night
Dredge shrimp in flour;
sauté in oil 3 minutes. Drain shrimp, reserving oil. Add wine to shrimp; simmer
5 minutes or until shrimp is nearly done. Add reserved oil, tomato paste mixed
with water, scallion, salt, and pepper; simmer 5 minutes longer or until shrimp
is done. Stir in lemon juice. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor,
Random House, New York, 1965
Life First 9 Days
for Life day four
INTENTION-May every father of a preborn child lovingly support the mother of his child in welcoming new life.
PRAYERS-Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be
REFLECTION-Fatherhood has its origins in God, who chose to reveal Himself to us as Our Father, sending his only Son for the sake of our salvation. Fathers therefore have a special role “in revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God” (Familiaris consortio 25). Fathers are called to exhibit “generous responsibility for the life conceived under the heart of the mother” (FC 25). They are uniquely entrusted with the protection and defense of both mother and child and, in this way, in safeguarding the sanctity of human life.
As evidenced in our world today, the role of the father “is of unique and irreplaceable importance” (FC 25). Often women choose abortion because they do not have the support of the child’s father, or—even worse—the father of the child pressures her to make the decision to abort. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge with compassion that men can also be overwhelmed by an unexpected pregnancy and that society increasingly tells them that they should have no say in their children’s lives. In the face of these false messages, we pray that fathers of preborn children will find courage in the example of Saint Joseph—who embraced the role of father amid difficult circumstances—and offer loving, life-affirming support to the mothers of their children.
ACTS OF REPARATION (Choose one.)
· Give up sleeping on your pillow—or even your bed—tonight. Offer this small sacrifice for the intention that fathers of preborn children will courageously answer their call to support both mother and child.
· Pray a decade of the Rosary for all fathers of preborn children, that through her intercession, Our Lady may inspire in them the virtues of Saint Joseph.
· Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.
ONE STEP FURTHER-Research continues to show that one of the top reasons a woman chooses abortion is due to a lack of financial resources. Read "Poverty and Abortion: A Vicious Cycle," which explores the connections between abortion and poverty, and how the absence of fathers contributes to this ongoing cycle.
Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Reparations for offenses and blasphemies against God and the Blessed Virgin MaryUnite in the work of the
birthday-when I was stationed in KY took the
family to Dollywood-we had a good time but froze.